If you are planning on purchasing a timeshare in South Dakota (or have already done so), you should take the time to learn about the various protections that South Dakota law provides for timeshare purchasers, such as the right to get a disclosure statement and the right to cancel a timeshare contract within a certain period of time. But you still need to be careful when purchasing a timeshare, and you should be aware that if you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you could lose your timeshare through foreclosure.
Read on to learn about some of the most important features of South Dakota’s timeshare law.
In South Dakota, timeshare developers must prepare a disclosure statement containing general information about the timeshare development. The timeshare seller must provide a copy of the disclosure statement to prospective purchasers, as well as provide purchasers with the opportunity to read it (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:17).
The disclosure statement must include, among other things, a brief description of the method by which the timeshare plan or units are offered, a description of the types of units offered, and a written statement that you are encouraged to read the disclosure (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:06, 20:69:12:07).
Your Right to Cancel a Timeshare Purchase in South Dakota
In South Dakota, you can cancel a timeshare purchase contract within seven calendar days after:
- you sign the contract, or
- you receive the disclosure statement, whichever is later (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:21).
It is unlawful for a timeshare developer to include a clause in the contract waiving your right to cancel the contract (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:36).
How to Cancel a South Dakota Timeshare Contract
You can cancel your timeshare purchase by sending written notice of your intent to cancel to the developer at the address provided in the contract (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:21). (See Nolo’s article on how to cancel a timeshare contract for more information on cancelling a timeshare purchase.)
If you cancel, the developer must refund all payments you made under the contract within:
- 30 days after the notice of cancellation, if all materials received on the date of sale are returned to a specified address of the seller, or
- 60 days after the notice of cancellation, if all sales materials are not returned (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:21).
Escrow Account Required in South Dakota Timeshare Transactions
The timeshare developer must put any money you pay in connection with a timeshare purchase in South Dakota into an escrow account. Funds may not be disbursed until after the seven-day cancellation period expires (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:28).
Consumer Protections in South Dakota
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make a quick decision about buying a timeshare. South Dakota provides protections to shield timeshare purchasers from deceptive sales practices.
In South Dakota, timeshare developers and their agents may not misrepresent or deceptively represent:
- the amount of time the timeshare unit and facilities will be available to a purchaser
- the location of the offered units and facilities
- the size, nature, or characteristics of the offered units and facilities
- the rights of a purchaser, if any, to exchange the purchaser's rights to units in one location for rights to units in another location
- the contents of the contract, or
- the purchaser's rights, privileges, or benefits under the contract (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:36).
Timeshare sellers often get people to attend sales presentations by using promotions that offer free gifts, prizes, or vacations. In South Dakota, timeshare developers (or their agents) that use a promotion must clearly disclose that the promotional device is being used to sell timeshares (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:12:36).
Timeshare Projects Must Be Registered
In South Dakota, timeshare projects must be registered with the state Real Estate Commission (S.D. Codified Laws § 43-15b-3).
Timeshare Agents Must Be Licensed
In South Dakota, timeshare sales agents must be licensed (S.D. Admin. Rules 20:69:13:02).
South Dakota Timeshare Foreclosures
In some instances, timeshare purchasers take out a loan to finance the purchase of a timeshare. If you don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your timeshare through a South Dakota foreclosure. (Learn more in Nolo’s article Timeshare Foreclosures.)
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” If you fail to keep up with the assessments, you will also likely face foreclosure. (Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
Finding South Dakota’s Timeshare Laws
The statutes governing timeshare transactions in South Dakota can be found in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota and in the South Dakota Codified Laws.
To find the administrative rules that govern South Dakota timeshare transactions, go to the South Dakota State Legislature’s webpage at http://legis.sd.gov. Then, hover over “Administrative Rules” and then click on “Rules List.” Look in Article 20:69 (Real Estate Brokers and Sales Persons), Chapters 20:69:12 (Time-share estates) and 20:69:13 (Time-share agents).
To find the statutes that govern South Dakota timeshare transactions, go to the South Dakota State Legislature’s webpage at http://legis.sd.gov. Then, hover over “Laws” and then click on “Codified Laws.” Look in Title 43 (Property), Chapter 15B (Time-Share Estates).